Global Forest Watch News Roundup: Week of January 12

GFW News Roundup: Forest stories from around the world that demonstrate the power of spatial analysis and open data in improving management of forest landscapes

To learn more about GFW, a dynamic online forest monitoring and alert system, click here, or follow us on twitter at @globalforests.

Top Reads of the Week

Indonesia rolls back protection of carbon-rich peatlands. An Indonesian law that protects peatlands will be revised to allow for business-as-usual practices on the carbon-rich soils, according to the Environment and Forestry Ministry. Indonesian Law 71/2014, passed in October of 2014, requires a minimum water level in peatlands of 40 cm. Oil palm and timber industry groups criticized the law and claimed it would harm industry, while environmental groups claimed that the law did not go far enough in protecting peat soils. Companies will be allowed to continue business-as-usual operations on peat with water depth less than 40 cm under the revised rule. Read more about how drained peat soils contribute to fires and climate change at Eco-Business. (via Mongabay and the Jakarta Post)

Increases in food production can go hand-in-hand with decreases in deforestation. A new study found that food production increased while deforestation decreased in Matto Grosso, Brazil between 2001 and 2010, potentially demonstrating the value of policies that push agriculture into already-degraded land. Between 2001 and 2006, soy production accounted for about 10% of deforestation in the province. Yet between 2006 and 2010 only 2% of deforestation was attributed to expanded soy production, with 91% of the production increases occurring on degraded cattle pasture. (via Mongabay)

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New High-Resolution Images of Indonesian Forest and Land Fires

By James Anderson and Asa Strong

Global Forest Watch and Digital Globe recently partnered to bring high-resolution satellite images to bear on the issue of forest and land fires in Indonesia. The fires, often set to clear land for agriculture or used as a tool in conflict over land, can cause serious damage to forests and peat soils, as well as releasing clouds of toxic haze. The haze remains a particularly acute environmental and public heath crisis.

We have continued to acquire new images, including new images from the past few weeks. See two highlights below, complete with lat/ long coordinates and links to download the images on Flickr, or explore them with other forest and land data on GFW Fires.

Fire near wood fiber plantation | Sumatra, Indonesia | Nov 5, 2014

Land fire in Sumatra, Indonesia, made available through a partnership between Global Forest Watch Fires and Digital Globe. The dark patches on the left are a large pulpwood plantation (concession boundaries available on GFW fires).

Acquisition Date: November 5, 2014
Satellite: Digital Globe’s WorldView 2
Lat/ Long: 105.764057 / -2.848973 (Decimal Degrees)

Explore this image and additional data on Global Forest Watch Fires

Download the high-resolution image via Flickr

 

Fire in fields | Sumatra, Indonesia | July 24, 2014

Agricultural fire in Sumatra, Indonesia, made available through a partnership between Global Forest Watch Fires and Digital Globe.

 

Acquisition Date: July 24,2014
Satellite: Digital Globe’s WorldView 2
Lat/ Long: 100.371870 / 2.103892 (Decimal Degrees)

Explore this image and additional data on Global Forest Watch Fires

Download the high-resolution image via Flickr

Feel free to share and re-post the images (with credit to Global Forest Watch and Digital Globe).

Global Forest Watch News Roundup: Week of November 10

GFW News Roundup: Forest stories from around the world that demonstrate the power of spatial analysis and open data in improving management of forest landscapes

To learn more about GFW, a dynamic online forest monitoring and alert system, click here, or follow us on twitter at @globalforests.

Top Reads of the Week

Land use planning underpins deforestation in Peru. Peru’s forests are increasingly under threat from logging and mining in the face of weak governance and competing land use priorities, according to researchers at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). Slow decentralization has limited the role of local and regional governments in land use planning, and overlapping ministerial jurisdictions at the national level are undermining sustainable management. Meanwhile, a recent economic stimulus package has relaxed key environmental regulations while promoting ‘fast-track licensing’ for land concessions. (Trust.org via CIFOR)

Development threatens Brazil’s protected areas. A proposal under debate in the Brazilian Congress is calling for ten percent of the country’s protected areas to be developed for mining and hydroelectric dams. The vast potential environmental damage of this development (affecting an area the size of Switzerland) is not being fully considered, argues a new paper in Science. These infrastructure projects are “a recipe for the emergence of new deforestation frontiers”, according to one of the coauthors. (Via Mongabay)

Australia bids to strip Tasmania forest of World Heritage protection. A UNESCO committee rejected the Australian government’s bid to strip 74,000 ha of carbon-dense forest in Tasmania of its World Heritage status after only 9 minutes of debate, but the effort to delist the area was called “a disappointment” by the head of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. This bid follows other efforts to roll back the conservation of Tasmania’s forests. On September 2, Tasmania’s government reversed a forest protection deal that took three years to negotiate, and removed the protected status of 400,000 hectares of native forest, calling for a “renaissance of forestry in Tasmania.” (via The Guardian)
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Global Forest Watch News Roundup: Week of November 3

GFW News Roundup: Forest stories from around the world that demonstrate the power of spatial analysis and open data in improving management of forest landscapes

To learn more about GFW, a dynamic online forest monitoring and alert system, click here, or follow us on twitter at @globalforests.

Top Reads of the Week

Agribusiness steps up for forests. Bunge, one of the world’s largest palm oil companies, joined a number of corporate giants when it announced a zero-deforestation palm oil policy last week. According to advocacy groups, this policy could have an especially large impact in reducing deforestation and related emissions, as Bungie sources an outsize proportion of its palm oil from peat-rich regions of Sarawak, Malaysia. (via Mongabay)

New IPCC report highlights threats, opportunities for world’s forests in a changing climate. The newest report from the world’s leading climate scientists points to deforestation and land use change as a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.  It also warns of increasing threats to forests and stored carbon from climate change, expressed through drought, fires and pests. The IPCC does estimate, however, that halting deforestation and promoting reforestation can provide between 24-30 percent of total mitigation potential. (via Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change)

“The only truly uninhabited place is Antarctica”. Ninety three percent of economic concessions for logging, mining, oil and gas and agriculture  in eight tropical forest countries overlap with Indigenous Peoples or local communities, setting the stage for conflict over land and forest resources, according to a new analysis from RRI. These concessions accounted for 40% of Peru’s land area and 30% of Indonesia’s, respectively. (via Rights and Resources Initiative)

Intercepting illegal wood. Interpol and the World Customs Organization seized $20.6 million worth of illegally sourced wood (15,000 cubic meters) from Peru this week, just a month ahead of the country hosting of the UN Climate Conference. (via E&E ClimateWire)

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Global Forest Watch News Roundup: Week of October 27

In this update, Global Forest Watch publishes a roundup of top forest news from around the world. Many of these stories demonstrate the power of spatial analysis and open data in monitoring and analyzing forest change and improving forest landscapes.

To learn more about GFW, a dynamic online forest monitoring and alert system, click here, or follow us on twitter at @globalforests.

Top Reads of the Week

Backsliding on forests? Brazilian Amazon deforestation continues to increase. Satellite data from Imazon suggests that Brazil’s forest clearance increased by 190% over the past two months as compared to August and September of last year. This is more bad news for Brazil, who saw a 29% increase in deforestation last year after nearly a decade of tapering rates. (via The Guardian)

No more ‘flying rivers’. With São Paulo facing its worst drought in eighty years, some Brazilian scientists are tying the lack of rainfall to deforestation in the Amazon. The destruction of trees, which release millions of liters of water into the atmosphere, is permanently altering the regional climate of Brazil, according to scientists at the INPE (Brazil’s National Space Research Institute). Get more background on how deforestation affects rainfall patterns from NASA or Greenpeace. (via Reuters)

Exporting deforestation, exporting emissions.  A new working paper links the production of four forest-related commodities- palm oil, soy, beef and paper- in eight countries to nearly one third of all global warming emissions from deforestation (3.9 million hectares of forest loss and 1.7 GtCO2 in 2009 alone). Excluding Brazil, nearly half of the deforestation occurring in these focus countries was driven by export markets, primarily the trade of agricultural commodities with China and the EU. (via Mongabay)

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